Asciano is a small town in the province of Siena in Tuscany, with a medieval-looking historic center surrounded by ancient city walls. It is situated in the middle of a picturesque area called Crete Senesi.
Asciano travel guide
Tourist office: Corso Matteotti, 126. Phone: +39 0577 719524. Opening times: From 10:00 till 13:00 and from 15:00 till 18:00 (in winter only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays). Closed: Mondays.
Town hall: Corso Matteotti, 45. Phone: +39 0577 71441.
Public transportation: Asciano has a railway station on the Empoli-Siena-Chiusi line.
Asciano tourist Attractions
The Church of Sant’Agata (Collegiata di Sant’Agata), is a basilica from the 11th century and is located in the main square of the city.
The Museum of Archaeology and Consecrated Art is located in the Palazzo Corboli on the Corso Matteotti. The art is mainly made by painters from the Sienese school (14th and 15th centuries), while the archaeological part of the museum features mainly finds from the excavations at the nearby Poggio Pinci necropolis (including the tomb of Molinelli and the Campo Muri votive gifts.
The Cassioli Museum features paintings by father (Amos) and son (Giuseppe) Cassioli, who belonged to the so-called Macchiaiolo school.
The city walls were built in the 14th century, by the then rulers from Siena itself.
The Romanesque-Gothic Church of St. Francis is located outside the city walls of Asciano.
Le Crete is a low hill range with rather clay-like soil and a short distance away is the spa town of Rapolano Terme.
A brief history of Asciano
Asciano itself was founded in the Middle Ages and developed under the domination of the Republic of Siena. However, settlements also existed in Etruscan and Roman times on the territory of the present town.
Previously (4th century BC) there had been Etruscan settlements, traces of which have been found at Poggio Pinci and Mulinello.
Also from the Roman period archaeological finds have been brought to light near these same sites (2nd century).
The name comes from Sessiano, as the area was called at that time, which in the course of the years became corrupted to Scialenga and Assianinga.
The castle was owned by the Cacciaconti family in the 10th and 11th centuries. Before it was incorporated into the Republic of Siena in the 14th century, it was an important commercial center in the area.
After this, Asciano remained for a long time in the hands of the Tolomei family, who came from Siena. It was Giovanni Bernardo Tolomei, who lived the life of a monk in what is now the municipality of Chiusure, who was to found the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore.
In 1449 the castle was completely rebuilt.
Other buildings erected during this time include the Collegiata di Sant’Anna Church, the Palazzo del Podestà and the San Francesco Church.
In 1554 Asciano, along with Siena, was incorporated by the Medici.
It became a city in 1777.
Events and festivals
The most characteristic event is Palio dei Ciuchi on the second Sunday of September. The seven contrade of the town are each represented by a donkey running around the ancient stage.